Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

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RowRinseRepeat
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Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by RowRinseRepeat » September 2nd, 2018, 2:41 pm

Just bought a C2 Model D after years of being away from rowing and just loving it. Introduced my wife to rowing and she's loving the C2 as well. We row primarily for fitness, though may join an on-water club soon as well. Live in SF Bay Area though working on the E Coast for a period.

We're wondering how to best balance strength training for muscles not worked in rowing, and how to work rowing into our workout schedule for maximum benefit and would really appreciate your advice.

We'd like to row at least 3x/week, a day apart up to 40 minutes a session, of those 1-2 interval workouts and 1-2 endurance (with perhaps an endurance session that lasts 1 hour instead of 40 minutes). We typically do 40 min aerobic exercise in either the AM or early evening, and after that 20 min strength exercise in early evening before dinner. We exercise for both fitness and to benefit the outdoor sports we do - hiking, kayaking, backpacking, mountain biking, etc.

Other exercise we do up to now:
-Yoga 2-3x/week
-Jogging, hiking, trail running or calisthenics 2-3x/week (with weekend bicycling, kayaking or backpacking trips subbed for some of those).
-Strength training with body weight, pull up bar and Predator rubber bands 3X/week, usually split into a) back/biceps/shoulders, b) chest/triceps and c) legs and calves. We may add dumbells at some point.

Questions
1. Which strength exercises are particularly important to do for muscles not used in rowing?

2. How should we schedule rowing workouts in relation to our strength training for a) back/biceps/shoulders, b) chest/triceps and c) legs and calves? Should we not do back/biceps/shoulders strength on days we do 40 minute rowing workouts?

3. If we wanted to row more than 3 days a week, of course with good form, is that OK without causing repetitive injuries? Is it OK to row 5 minutes as a warmup for non-rowing exercise sessions between rowing days?

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Remo
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by Remo » September 3rd, 2018, 3:05 pm

1. Which strength exercises are particularly important to do for muscles not used in rowing?

Rowing uses all of the major muscle groups. I would recommend instead that your strength training be focused on the entire body. By doing this, you will be exercising the same muscles but with different motions. Be sure to focus some of strength training on your core because it is the link between glutemus maximus (aka butt) and your upper body.

2. How should we schedule rowing workouts in relation to our strength training for a) back/biceps/shoulders, b) chest/triceps and c) legs and calves? Should we not do back/biceps/shoulders strength on days we do 40 minute rowing workouts?

A rowing workout prior to weights will make you a little weaker -- you will not be able to do as many reps, but it will not have a negative effect on your strength training. And the reverse is true if you do weights beforehand.

3. If we wanted to row more than 3 days a week, of course with good form, is that OK without causing repetitive injuries? Is it OK to row 5 minutes as a warmup for non-rowing exercise sessions between rowing days?

There aren't too many repetitive injuries from rowing. The exception is that you need to take good care of your back. Most rowers at some point will have trouble with their backs (but then again, so will those that don't row). It is okay to use rowing as a warmup for non-rowing exercise.
Stewart MH 63+ https://log.concept2.com/profile/4926
Started rowing at Cal in 1975.

RowRinseRepeat
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by RowRinseRepeat » September 3rd, 2018, 3:38 pm

Thank you Remo, much appreciated. Great avatar, by the way.

I've rowed together with strength training before, rowing 30 minutes prior to strength training. That's when I used a rower in a gym, and that's how it worked out easiest for my schedule.

I should have perhaps explained better - I'm aware that rowing works all major muscle groups, but it works certain muscles much more than others. So I'm trying to get a handle on strength exercises that we should be sure to include to balance muscles/motions used less in rowing.

For example, rowing works your back and biceps (pull) more than your chest and triceps (push). So I thought it would be important to chest and tricep push exercises in particular to balance the back and bicep pull motions.

And if you are using your core in rowing not just to stabilize yourself but also to pull back (back moving outward), then it might be important to exercise core muscles that pull your legs or back inward (like crunches or leg raises).

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Remo
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by Remo » September 3rd, 2018, 6:53 pm

Eh RRR,

The Glutes are what both pushes the leg down (along with the quads) AND causes the back to swing open. You are right that you also use the stomach muscles to pull the upper body forward on the recovery. And you will use some of the lower back muscles on the drive (but they are much smaller than the Glutes). But mostly you use the core to stabilize the back.

You are absolutely right that the triceps don't get much attention, and for that matter, neither do the hamstrings (but somehow I used to get cramps in the hammies when I rowed more seriously). Surprisingly, the pectorals get a fair amount of work when you row (but can always use more). To find out that they get work, pull something towards you with one hand while feeling the pectoral with the other hand.

At this point in life, apart from rowing, all I do for strength is work on my shoulders using a band. Mostly because both shoulders have been operated on. Shoulders are amazing. Tremendous range of motion. The parts of the shoulder that I work on are not particularly stimulated by rowing. Namely, the overhead/military press and a lot of rotational like using a band and swinging my arm across my body and up (like a modified tennis swing) or using the band for resistance while moving my arm like I am arm wrestling.

You seem to do a lot of other stuff, too. While a whole body approach is generally best, some extra focus on hamstrings, triceps, pecs and all those other shoulder muscles would be a good addition.

Regarding the avatar--thanks for the compliment. I have twin boys, now 16 years old. Get the picture?
Stewart MH 63+ https://log.concept2.com/profile/4926
Started rowing at Cal in 1975.

blues_
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by blues_ » September 4th, 2018, 9:25 am

I would concentrate on upper body pressing movements. (Bench and Standing Press.)

This can be accomplished with adjustable dumbbells or olympic bars.

If you choose to incorporate dumbbells and are working out at home, I highly recommend adjustable PowerBlocks which can be purchased in various sets up to 125# each, (for both the left and right hand). I've had mine for over 20 years.
Last edited by blues_ on September 4th, 2018, 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

RowRinseRepeat
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by RowRinseRepeat » September 4th, 2018, 9:38 am

Thanks blues_, right now we do strength training at home with body weight, pro rubber bands and a pull-up bar but don't yet have a bench, but I can get close to that with push ups and with incline pushups with my legs elevated on a bed or chair.

blues_
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by blues_ » September 4th, 2018, 9:49 am

I edited my post before seeing your most recent reply.

I think the push-ups and chins will be a lot more useful than the bands, but I'd still strongly recommend the PowerBlocks which would be equally useful to both you and the missus. They take up very little space as you'll see if you look them up online.

(I've used bands in the past but specifically to address some rotator cuff issues from years old rock climbing and sports injuries.)

blues_
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Re: Strength Training for Muscles Not Worked in Rowing? Scheduling strength training around rowing?

Post by blues_ » September 4th, 2018, 9:53 am

Here's a video that may be useful for perspective:

https://youtu.be/S3wNtz8cRY8

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